Microbial osteoporosis: The interplay between the gut microbiota and bones via host metabolism and immunity

The complex relationship between intestinal microbiota and host is a novel field in recent years. A large number of studies are being conducted on the relationship between intestinal microbiota and bone metabolism. Bone metabolism consisted of bone absorption and formation exists in the whole process of human growth and development. The nutrient components, inflammatory factors, and hormone environment play important roles in bone metabolism. Recently, intestinal microbiota has been found to influence bone metabolism via influencing the host metabolism, immune function, and hormone secretion. This review reports the effect of intestinal microbiota on bone metabolism through the above three aspects, which may provide new ideas and targets for the clinical treatment of osteoporosis.

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Gut microbiome and osteoporosis

Osteoporosis (OP) is a chronic metabolic bone disease characterized by the decrease of bone tissue per unit volume under the combined action of genetic and environmental factors, which leads to the decrease of bone strength, makes the bone brittle, and raises the possibility of bone fracture. However, the exact mechanism that determines the progression of OP remains to be underlined. There are hundreds of trillions of symbiotic bacteria living in the human gut, which have a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship with the human body that helps to maintain human health. With the development of modern high-throughput sequencing (HTS) platforms, there has been growing evidence that the gut microbiome may play an important role in the programming of bone metabolism. In the present review, we discuss the potential mechanisms of the gut microbiome in the development of OP, such as alterations of bone metabolism, bone mineral absorption, and immune regulation. The potential of gut microbiome-targeted strategies in the prevention and treatment of OP was also evaluated.

Botanicals in Postmenopausal Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a systemic bone disease characterized by reduced bone mass and the deterioration of bone microarchitecture leading to bone fragility and an increased risk of fractures. Conventional anti-osteoporotic pharmaceutics are effective in the treatment and prophylaxis of osteoporosis, however they are associated with various side effects that push many women into seeking botanicals as an alternative therapy. Traditional folk medicine is a rich source of bioactive compounds waiting for discovery and investigation that might be used in those patients, and therefore botanicals have recently received increasing attention. The aim of this review of literature is to present the comprehensive information about plant-derived compounds that might be used to maintain bone health in perimenopausal and postmenopausal females.

The Gut microbiome is altered in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis and osteopenia

Osteoporosis and its precursor osteopenia are common metabolic bone diseases in postmenopausal women. A growing body of evidence suggests that the gut microbiota is involved in the regulation of bone metabolism; however, there are few studies examining how gut microbiomes in osteoporosis and osteopenia may differ from those in healthy individuals. The aim of this study was to characterize the diversity, composition, and functional gene potential of the gut microbiota of healthy, osteopenic, and osteoporotic women. Body composition, bone density, and fecal metagenomes were analyzed in 86 postmenopausal women. The women were classified as healthy, osteopenic, or osteoporotic based on T-scores. The taxonomic and functional gene compositions of the microbiome were analyzed using shotgun metagenomic sequencing. Both osteoporotic and osteopenic taxonomic compositions were found to be significantly different from healthy participants. Linear discriminant-analysis effect-size analyses identified that healthy participants had more unclassified Clostridia and methanogenic archaea (Methanobacteriaceae) than in both osteoporotic and osteopenic participants. Bacteroides was found to be more abundant in osteoporosis and osteopenia groups. Some KEGG pathways, including carbohydrate metabolism, biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, and cyanoamino acid metabolism, were found to be more abundant in both osteoporosis and osteopenia. These results show that osteoporosis and osteopenia alter the gut microbiome of postmenopausal women and identify potential microbial taxonomic and functional pathways that may be involved in this disease.

© 2020 The Authors. JBMR Plus published by Wiley Periodicals LLC. on behalf of American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.